Identification of interleukin-8 converting enzyme as cathepsin L.

Biochimica et biophysica acta

PubMedID: 12818188

Ohashi K, Naruto M, Nakaki T, Sano E. Identification of interleukin-8 converting enzyme as cathepsin L. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003;1649(1):30-9.
IL-8 is produced by various cells, and the NH(2)-terminal amino acid sequence of IL-8 displays heterogeneity among cell types. The mature form of IL-8 has 72 amino acids (72IL-8), while a precursor form (77IL-8) of IL-8 has five additional amino acids to the 72IL-8 NH(2)-terminal. However, it has been unclear how IL-8 is processed to yield the mature form. In this study, converting enzyme was purified as a single 31-kDa band on silver-stained polyacrylamide gel from 160 l of cultured fibroblast supernatant by sequential chromatography. NH(2)-terminal amino acid sequence analysis revealed a sequence, EAPRSVDWRE, which was identified as a partial sequence of cathepsin L. Polyclonal antibodies raised against cathepsin L recognized the purified converting enzyme on Western blot. Moreover, human hepatic cathepsin L cleaved 77IL-8 between Arg(5) and Ser(6), which is the same cleavage site as the putative converting enzyme, resulting in 72IL-8 formation. These data indicate that the converting enzyme of the partially purified fraction of the human fibroblast culture supernatant was cathepsin L. Furthermore, 72IL-8 was sevenfold more potent than 77IL-8 in a neutrophil chemotaxis assay. These results show that cathepsin L is secreted from human fibroblasts in response to external stimuli and plays an important role in IL-8 processing in inflammatory sites.